Inflation may have cooled off some since its high in recent years, but a new poll by High Point University found that people across the state are still hurting from it and thinking about it.
“Inflation is still very much on the minds of North Carolinians interviewed for the newest HPU Poll,” the findings state. “More than half (54 percent) of North Carolina residents responding to the survey say inflation concerns have affected a lot of their spending decisions this year. About one-third (31 percent) say inflation concerns have affected some of their spending decisions, and only 12 percent say inflation concerns haven’t affected them much at all.”
As part of the poll on the unpleasant topic, North Carolinians were also asked to consider how the prices they pay for some items now compared to last year’s prices.
Nearly 60 percent of people said prices are much higher for meat – but less than half said they were paying a much higher price for gas (47 percent), eggs (43 percent), fruits and vegetables (41 percent), bread (40 percent), clothing (37 percent), milk (37 percent), natural gas (36 percent), electronics (35 percent) and water (30 percent).
Nearly half of North Carolina residents say that inflation over the past few months has been worse than they expected.
Almost one-third say inflation has been roughly what they anticipated, while only 20 percent say the inflation has been not as bad as expected.
Peter Summers, an associate professor of economics at High Point University, said the perception of inflation doesn’t always match the reality.
“Research has shown that people’s perceptions of inflation are strongly influenced by the prices they see most often,” he stated in a release containing the study’s results, “and these results are a perfect example of this. Even though overall inflation has fallen substantially since 2021, the prices of many items are noticeably higher than they would have been under more normal circumstances. For example, a pound of hamburger that cost $4 per pound in 2020 would be about $4.25 now if inflation had been steady at 2 percent per year. With the actual inflation rates we’ve seen since then, it would cost almost $4.75 instead.”
Half of those responding to the poll say they believe inflation will be higher 12 months from now – while about one-third say it will be about the same, and only 11 percent say it will be lower.